friday favorites – august 1

Happy August! Gulp, August? Where have the days gone? Personally, August is a favorite month of mine so I am secretly excited, except it does mean the summer days are winding down. Sad. But this month we have a trip to San Diego to look forward to, my birthday, my grandparents coming into town, the Minnesota State Fair and much much more. So let the fun begin!

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Okay, be prepared, this Friday favorite is totally my-life related. We have been having so much fun having my aunt, uncle, and cousins in town and this last week has been busy and full of awesome moments. So here is a Family Friday Favorites edition!

Favorite Moment(s): Playing mini golf with my cousins, exploring Fort Snelling, showing off the Mall of America, trying to bowl, laughing loudly while playing Apples to Apples, and in general, just creating so many fun memories.

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(Cali’s) Favorite New Friend: Cali fell in love with my Uncle Jimmy and basically melted into his arms as he carried her around the house. I mean, seriously, how cute is this? She has found her new place of bliss.

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Favorite Crop: Our green beans are finally ready for picking and eating! Well, okay, so many there aren’t enough for a whole meal, but we are excited that the seeds we planted actually produced a mini harvest. Yum!

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Favorite Quote: “Fear less, Hope more, Whine less, Breathe more, Talk less, Say more, Hate less, Love more.”

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Favorite Song: Is anyone else cranking up “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX every time it comes on the radio? It’s so catchy! Plus it reminds me of The Fault in Our Stars. I am sure I will be sick of it in a week since it plays every 16 minutes on one station or another but this week, I love it.

Favorite Mistake: Awww, I decided to try trimming Cali’s hair for our incoming guests. I mean, she is small and it didn’t seem that tough. Well, once I got the scissors in my hand it seems that I became incredibly uncoordinated and slightly blind. Poor Cali got a little butchered but I laugh whenever I look at her … I’m like that mom that tries to give her daughter bangs and we all know how that story turns out!

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Favorite Reminder: Trying to balance this week has been tough. Super fun, but tough. It’s been a busy one at work and truthfully, I don’t want to have to be worrying about work, I want to be with my family! As I was driving home the other night, trying to think about what I couldn’t forget to do in the office tomorrow, what I was going to do tonight, the groceries that needed to be shopped for, the laundry that needed to be washed and put away, the friends that needed to be called back, a blog post to write, the blank ‘thank you’ cards that needed to be written out, and on and on and on, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed. But then I was quickly reminded that I can thrive in chaos. I made lists. I prioritized. I tried to think about what mattered and what I could delay slightly in order to maintain my sanity. I knew this week in particular I had to prioritize my devotional time in the mornings first – getting my head cleared and foundation reset; then focusing on the must-do’s at work and setting aside the things that could wait; then spending time with the people I love. Laundry can wait. We have food that we can piece together. The notecards can wait as long as I texted my gratitude. Basically I needed to remind myself that it was okay to not be able to do it all for a week. Yes, some people were probably disappointed and inconvenienced, my blog was left untouched for a whole week, my cards might arrive a little late, we may have just eaten a salad made from leftover greens, feta cheese and watermelon (because that’s all that’s in the fridge) and that’s okay. When I think back to this week a year from now, I won’t remember the salad or the need for clean white tank tops. I will remember the laughs, the trips, the joy of being with others. Remember today that it’s okay to let go of some of the little things. Make lists. There is a mental freedom that comes with seeing everything on paper – it’s a little less overwhelming. (I carry a small notebook in my purse at all times in order to jot down things to do as it comes to me.) I had to be reminded this week I can’t always do it all and that doesn’t make me any less capable.

Favorite Funnies: Enjoy!

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Okay friends! I am off … next week I should be able to get a post or two out between Fridays. I am thankful for your patience when life gets busy. XOXO!

friday favorites – july 25.

It’s Friday! Whoa, this week flew by. I have to admit, I just sat down and wondered What did I even do this week? Or it’s more like, what didn’t I do? This week felt completely swamped which isn’t necessary a bad thing, just a busy thing! Let’s hope I can sort out my thoughts and that Friday Favorites makes sense today. (And if not, please just politely smile and nod and check back with me next week.)

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Favorite Thing I am Looking Forward To: My uncle, aunt and cousins are coming in from Illinois on Monday for a week and we cannot WAIT to see them! It’s been too long and I know the days will be action packed and full of lots of laughs and new memories. Somehow in the last 9+ years, my “little” cousins grew up (seriously, how cute are they?) and are now in high school. Whoa! Of course us adults haven’t aged a bit though. HA!

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Favorite Product: I don’t know about you but there are two must-have products on my bathroom counter at all times – a good dry shampoo and a good sea salt spray. Of course there are many great products there, but they cost way too much for how much I use them. I have been trying out over the counter products for a while now and have stumbled upon a brand I love – Not Your Mother’s. On days when I can’t get a good shampoo in, the dry shampoo is a lifesaver and on days when humidity reigns (like it has several days this week), a little sea salt spray works, along with a prayer that you don’t scare any children with your robust mane. You can find it at Walmart, Target, or any local beauty supply shop. Check it out!

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Favorite Meet’N’Greet: Awww, I got to meet 5-day old baby Ty last weekend and let’s just say, he is a handsome little fellow! So precious!

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Favorite Song: Oh Jason Mraz, you have done it to me again. 3 Things off of his new album Yes! had me in goosebumpy tears earlier this week. I was feeling a bit of stress, overly process-y, and a bit emotional going into a long day and when I heard this song, my spirits lifted and I felt totally rejuvenated. LOVE! Have to share the video shot at his avocado farm as well as the lyrics. If you need a pick me up, listen for sure.

There are three things I do when my life falls apart
Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart
Not until I do this will my new life start
So that’s the first thing that I do when my life falls apart.

Oh, the second thing I do is I close both of my eyes
And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.
I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside
Gathering new strength from sorrow,
I’m glad to be alive.

Things are looking up
I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying
On Three little things
Things are looking up

The third thing that I do now when my world caves in,
is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end.
I design my future bright not by where my life has been.
And I try, try, try, try, try again.
Yes I try, try, try, try, try again.

Things are looking up
I know beyond the dark the sun is rising
Things are looking up
And I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking
Love is still the answer I’m relying
On Three little things
Three little things

Favorite Reminder:

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Favorite Way to Hydrate: It can be hard for me to get in 100 ounces of water a day, but I find if I spice it up a bit and throw in fresh items, it makes it more fun to drink and disappears a lot quicker! A go-to this week for me has been throwing in a few strawberries (fresh or frozen), a couple of sprigs of mojito mint from my garden and a squeeze of lime. DELISH! What are your favorite ways to take your water? Share!

Favorite Funnies: Here we go! (And if you ever have any funnies to share, please send them over! trialsbringjoy@gmail.com I loveeeee getting ones sent!)

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friday favorites – july 11.

Happy Friday! These summer weeks are flying by faster than ever. I am trying to keep my big girl panties on and not cry about it, but WAHHHH. SUMMER, STAY!!

Favorite Memory: A few things about me: I love playing games, being outside, listening to good music, having Cali nearby, and being with my favorite people. So imagine my joy when all these things merged last weekend. Josh, Cali, my sister Courtney and I packed up and walked over to a local park, set out our lawn blanket, shuffled the Phase 10 cards, cranked some Josh Garrels tunes and enjoyed an hour or two in the sun. A few afternoon rain sprinkles pushed us back home but it was one of my favorite parts of the week.

Favorite July Food: Cherries. Hands down. I’m addicted. I am thankful the cherry season is short because I have single-handedly gone through about 8 pounds of cherries in the last few weeks. No joke. I can’t control myself. My lips have a permanent stain to them and I have become an expert pit-spitter-outter. Oh cherries, you make me happy.

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Favorite Summer TV Show: Big Brother! Is anyone else watching? I always get sucked in every year and even though some of the new twists this season have me a little confused, I still loooooove to watch! Donny, a 42 year old groundskeeper who looks like he belongs on Duck Dynasty, is seriously my favorite. I find myself getting worked up over Devin (seriously, GO HOME!) and giggling at the Frankie/Zack bromance. Hilarious! Thank you CBS for giving me a good dose of summer reality tv.

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Favorite Celebration: Josh’s birthday! YAY! I can’t believe my husband is 32 already – not that it’s “old” by any means, but seriously, when did we all grow up?? I could yammer on about how fast time goes and how awesome Josh is (because, well, he is), but instead I just want to fast forward to the party details.

My family hosted an incredible party for Josh. He knew nothing but when to show up and I have to say, my mom’s creativity was at an all time high. (Who remembers the awesome book themed party she threw for me last year?) My hunter-hubby had a night filled with his favorite foods (like, pretty much all of them … the food was AMAZING – gluten free too nonetheless), favorite decorations, and lots and lots of laughs from start to finish. I just have to brag on my mom’s creativity (with my dad and sister’s help as well!) with pictures below. I loved how special and celebrated Josh felt. I LOVE BIRTHDAYS and its safe to say I got the love of them from my mom. :)

As we pulled up, we knew right where to park!

As we pulled up, we knew right where to park!

Check out this table setting!. SO perfect.

Check out this table setting!. SO perfect.

The details were the best part – the hand crafted napkin rings (white tail deer of course), the name cards, the coasters and bottled water … love.

Lots of sticks, birthday love, mineral rocks and even a little visiting deer.

Lots of sticks, birthday love, mineral rocks and even a little visiting deer.

Deer droppings, HAHA!

Deer droppings, HAHA!

I got up briefly and when I came back, someone stole my chair!

I got up briefly and when I came back, someone stole my chair!

...twice!

…twice!

Our birthday boy!

Our birthday boy!

Crab, alfredo scallops, deep dish pizzas, and bacon wrapped sausage ...

Crab, alfredo scallops, deep dish pizzas, and bacon wrapped sausage …

Grilled cheese and tomato soup, caesar salad with grilled shrimp, waffle fries and steaks....

Grilled cheese and tomato soup, caesar salad with grilled shrimp, waffle fries and steaks….

corn, peanut m&m's, cheesecake and homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. *FULL*

corn, peanut m&m’s, cheesecake and homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. *FULL*

And yes, we were full for a lonnngggg time after that.

Favorite Funnies: And last but not least! Enjoy!

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Have a great weekend friends!

 

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Fear is a nasty thing.

My baby dog Cali has been acting a little abnormal lately. It hasn’t been long, a week or two at best. An accident while she was sleeping, brushed off as she was sleeping too soundly and didn’t wake up in time. An increase in water intake, clearly from it being so hot outside. But then she got these sick, sad eyes and would look at me and I just knew in my mom gut something wasn’t right.

After another accident this weekend, I assumed the worst. (Naturally). So when you are worried, what’s the best thing to do?

Pray, call, make a doctor appointment, think positively and wait until your appointment.

Well, yes, that is the right thing. Unfortunately that’s not what I did. I turned to Google. (Never a good idea).

What I learned was that Cali likely has diabetes or Cushing’s Disease. So I continued to “research”, staying up on my phone till 3:00 am, reading article after article about what this means for her life span and quality of life, while letting my brain race.

The next day, the day the vet was of course closed, I couldn’t shake the anxiety in my stomach that I was going to lose Cali. Of course her dying was the natural thing to assume. Could I hold her while she was put to sleep? Would I survive it? What was wrong with her?

All of my worries ran through my mind like a fire in Colorado, one that couldn’t be put out. I felt physically sick to my stomach. It started in my tummy, like a burning rock that made me want to throw up. Then it spread up to my diaphragm, like hot lava spreading up to my heart, which ached, then up my throat, sitting there like a form of acid. The anxiety of losing my furbaby, the one who has been by my side for 8 years and licked my tears and cuddling against my barren stomach was too much for me to process.

I KNEW better than to let myself go. I recited all the verses I knew about worry and anxiety and trusting God. In fact, I actually begin to think that God was going to take Cali from me as some sort of test of my faith (because I haven’t been through enough) and all day I plead with God, trying to convince Him that I was strong enough without this test of faith.

I was stumped. How could I be praying, reading scripture, and yet so physically ill from the anxiety? Wasn’t the peace of God supposed to take away this pit in my stomach? What was I doing wrong? I had faith that God could heal Cali, but was assuming He wasn’t. I was being honest to Him with my emotions, scribbling down in my journal I’m so scared today Lord. I know you know how much I love Cali and I am terrified that I am going to lose her. I know I would survive but the thought of having to go through that pain paralyzes me and makes me anxious. God, you are a healer and I pray for healing for Cali and Lord, you also are a comforter and I pray that you comfort my heart and calm my anxious thoughts, surrounding them with your peace.

And still the anxiety grew. I couldn’t eat dinner. I couldn’t disengage from the fear. I read Steven Furtick’s words about fear – “…if left alone, it (fear) tends to compound, spread and destroy. Little fears can cohabitate and combine to form levels of anxiety and terror that will annihilate our awareness of the presence of God….therefore, our approach to dealing with fear cannot be passive. Because fear doesn’t evaporate. It must be evicted.”

I was letting the fear destroy me, trusting God but trusting Google more. I was engaging the fear by just looking up “one more thing”. It was awful. I was expecting the fear to evaporate instead of being proactive to just STOP playing the “what-if’s” in my head and setting the phone down. Josh eventually was able to pry the phone from my hands (which resulted in me missing lots of texts, sorry for my abrupt absence to those texting). And then I just had to wait.

Josh prayed for Cali and I and that made me feel better. I took a sleeping pill (the only logical thing to do to stop the voices) and made an appointment for the first thing this morning.

I teared up as I brought Cali to the car, for some reason terrified that they wouldn’t give her back to me if something was wrong. Lord please, any other sacrifice …

(Side note – isn’t it funny how dramatic our brains can be when in FEAR MODE? Logic makes no sense, even typing this now I am wondering how I let myself get so out of control. But that voice just fed on itself and unfortunately, I let it.)

I talked to the vet, spilling out my concerns … a few accidents, maybe drinking more or maybe just hot, sad eyes that have nothing to do with the fireworks, I think … I just know … diabetes? Dying? The look of empathy he gave me was calming, Is she eating normally? (yes) Is she showing a lack of interest in everything? (no, I had to tear her away from her toys to get her into the car this morning) Is her belly bloated? (No) The questions continued and I realized my Google research lead me astray a bit. They brought her back and took a urine sample (poor little pup and the catheter) and some blood work. While we waited Cali demonstrated her tricks for the techs (balancing and high fives and rolling and spinning in a circle and such) – all clearly evidence that she was on her last leg, right? Sigh.

Well, the results are in. She doesn’t have diabetes or Cushing’s Disease. She has a slight UTI and low estrogen (like her mom, go figure), which is causing slight incontinence. Are you sure she isn’t dying??? (“She has some of the best blood work and urine results we have seen, she is extremely healthy and has a long life ahead of her.”) And no diabetes? (“Not a trace.”). And so we were off, with antibiotics in hand and a low-dose estrogen that she will take twice a day for the rest of her long life.

That was a lot of worry for nothing. And how I wish I could have told my yesterday-self that it would all work out like this. SHE WILL BE FINE. Stop the voice. But I just couldn’t build up enough strength to trust God and stop my racing mind. I wish there was a “Peace of God” pill, but there isn’t. I know next time to stay off of Google  – to EVICT the fear by stopping my thoughts. By running the other way and to NOT play out all of the what-if’s before they come true. I wish I could say next time an anxiety attack like this hits, that I can say I will have it under control, but it’s so hard.

“Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40 GNT)

When I read these verses today, I couldn’t help but feel God was speaking directly to me – Chelsea, why are you so frightened? Do you still not believe that I have things under control? That you can trust me? That you have nothing to fear because you always will have my protection over you? Trust me, regardless of the outcomes.

What a struggle this is! One I will continue to work on. I wish I was better at trusting. It’s a muscle that I need to continue to work on and I know that in order to work on it, I need to face situations in my life that require trust. It’s scary, but not as scary as the what-if’s. He’s got my back.

In the meantime, send us good luck wishes as we attempt to get a very stubborn little dog to take her antibiotics twice a day. And send Josh well wishes as he now has to live with two hormonally-imbalanced ladies. HA! :)

My sweet little puppy-cannoli.

My sweet little hormone imbalanced puppy-cannoli.

friday favorites – july 4.

Happy 4th of July! For my USA friends, I hope you have fun plans ahead to celebrate Independence Day. Judging by the sounds of the 9:45 am fireworks going off, it’s safe to say our neighbors are starting the celebrations early, much to Cali’s dismay. Have fun and be safe today people!

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Now without further adieu, Friday Favorites! Let’s jump right in.

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Favorite Moment:

Josh and I got to celebrate our 9 year anniversary this last Wednesday and I felt so incredibly surrounded by love the whole day. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us through a comment, like, message or text as well! Josh surprised me by coming home early from work that day and surprised me by having my wedding dress cleaned and preserved. (It was one of those things I never did and completely forgot about, so I was really surprised! It looks beautiful all cleaned up!) We enjoyed a great dinner out downtown and laughed and played cards. Yes, cards. We are semi-addicted to Golf and Phase 10 and like the old married couple we are, shuffled our way through the evening. It was perfect!

A quick little picture before dinner ….

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And then we noticed Cali’s tail, since she was obviously trying to get in to the picture. But 19 tries later, it was clear that she really didn’t wanted to LOOK at the camera, just be in the way. Oh well, we tried!

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Favorite Local Find:

My friend introduced me to a new restaurant in the Twin Cities called Yum Kitchen and Bakery and it was delicious! We worked up an appetite walking over there from her house and enjoyed their signature iced tea (AMAZING) and mahi mahi fish tacos. Oh, and we shared some fries – they are a MUST there! If you are in the Twin Cities, head on over and give them a try. They have a small gluten free menu as well, making it a win-win!

 

Favorite Photo Taken:

There was a sunset last weekend that took my breath away. I love that we can see views like this from our front porch. Beautiful!

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Favorite Quote:

Do not grieve Him by doubting His love.”

I read this in my devotional earlier today and LOVED it. I know that sometimes, when answered prayers seem ages away, and we assume that the delays we are experiencing are denials, it just don’t feel like He loves us. We can turn our wish list into a sign that He loves us (or doesn’t) and when life falls short of our expectations, we can begin to doubt Him. I loved the word grieve in the quote above … Do not grieve Him… If Josh ever began to express to me that he doubted my love, it would make me SO sad. I would constantly be trying to tell him and show him that I love him. It would be even more hurtful and heartbreaking if he continued to doubt my love even after I did everything I could to make it abundantly clear to him that I loved him. Thinking about God in this way was a great reminder to me this morning. Every minute I breathe, He is showing His love for me. Questioning that only breaks His heart. God’s character isn’t that of delay, but of perfect love and timing and is OUTSIDE of any circumstances or situations I encounter.

Favorite Find:

Yea, okay, so “Favorite Find” isn’t necessarily a great section, but I really just need an excuse to share this hoodie I found for Cali at a thrift shop yesterday.

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HA! She’s a little Gap girl. How stinking cute is that!? Clearly she isn’t as thrilled as me, but come on … pure adorable-ness going on right there.

Favorite Product:

My friend Karen sent me a little sample of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in the shade sin and oh my goodness, this is my new favorite make-up product. I am squeezing out the last little bit of my sample and putting this on my birthday list for sure. Who knew that eyeshadow primer really worked??? LOVE.

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Favorite Funnies:

And of course ….

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(No really, this is scary stuff.)

(No really, this is scary stuff.)

Alright, now off your phones or computers and go enjoy your day! To all the dog owners out there who’s dogs are terrified of fireworks – good luck tonight … we WILL get through this weekend! (This is Cali’s LEAST favorite holiday of all times ….) Happy 4th of July!

Who knew a patriotic photo shoot would be so exhausting!? HA!

Who knew a patriotic photo shoot would be so exhausting!? HA!

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Well, we have made it through all of the calendar landmines for 2014. We just cleared Frostie’s due date (our last frozen embryo we transferred last fall) and I feel relieved to be past all 4 of the “I should be in labor right now …” days. I know that I will always carry those due dates on my heart. There will always be days in January, April, June, and September that are carved into my soul with love for my babies that should have been. As I reflect back on so many emotions of the last 5+ years, I realize that infertility is incredibly complex, making me have days and moments where I feel like there are 18 different Chelsea’s crammed into one body.

I am here to let you know that if there are moments you feel like your world is caving in and you just don’t know if you can keep going, you are normal.

If you have moments where you feel like the sun is shining extraordinary bright and your heart has nothing but hope in it, you are normal.

If you have moments where you burst into tears for no reason at all, you are normal.

If you have moments where your heart aches with a physical pain and you are concerned that you actually may be having a heart attack because it hurts that bad, you are normal.

If you have moments where you are so grateful for your spouse and what you have that you can’t wipe the smile off your face, you are normal.

If you have moments where you pat your hormone induced belly bloat and talk to a fake baby bump, you are normal. (Also normal, pushing out your stomach and taking selfies to see what you will look like when you actually are pregnant.)

If you have moments where you contemplate knocking over a smoking pregnant woman and screaming at her about how stupid she is, you are normal.

If you have moments where you find yourself wandering the baby aisles at Target, softly petting the ‘I love Mommy’ onsies, wondering if you will ever be able to buy it for yourself, you are normal.

If you have moments where you enjoy your freedom to go out to a movie on a whim with your husband and are secretly grateful for that flexibility, you are normal.

If you have moments where you go on a ‘you are pregnant, therefore hidden’ binge on Facebook and erase the physical reminders that all 319 friends of yours are pregnant, you are normal.

If you have moments where you cry with happiness because a friend shares with you that she is expecting, you are normal. (Also normal, crying in the bathroom later because you guys were supposed to be pregnant together.)

If you have moments where you feel completely content with your trial and embrace each day with strength and joy, you are normal.

If you have moments where you hear phantom crying in the middle of the night for the infant you wish was beside the bed, you are normal.

If you cringe when a pregnant woman complains about how fat she is getting, you are normal.

If you roll your eyes every time you have to buy ANOTHER bottle of prenatal vitamins, you are normal.

If you get excited about ovulation tests, raised body temps and cervical mucus, you are normal.

If you hate everything about ovulation tests, body temping and analyzing your cervical mucus, you are normal.

If you get anxiety when your angel baby’s “birthday” comes around, you are normal.

If you want to quit this journey and start traveling and living life, you are normal.

If you can’t stop thinking about the “what if’s” all day, you are normal.

If you don’t think about infertility for a clump of time, you are normal.

If you hate that your sex occasionally has to be timed and that you need to lay with your legs in the air for 15 minutes after, you are normal.

If you find yourself getting excited about a new vitamin, supplement, cream, herb, or technique, you are normal.

If you feel like you just can’t turn off your brain, you are normal.

If you are suddenly and overwhelmingly comforted by God’s peace in your darkest moments, you are normal.

If there are days where God seems so far away and you have no idea if He hears your prayers, you are normal.

If you wonder WHY WHY WHY WHY on a regular basis, you are normal.

If you get excited when you think about the opportunity to make this misery into a ministry, you are normal.

If you cling to the reminder that God won’t waste a hurt, you are normal.

If you feel like no one understands you, you are normal.

The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to feel when you are struggling with infertility. Every day is a new day, new emotions surging through you and new triggers that stand in your way. I am doing my best each day to keep things in perspective, reminding myself that it could be worse and be thankful for the opportunity to strength my faith, grow as a woman and with Josh as a couple, and feed on the faithfulness of God. But I also have my moments where I want to pick up the towel and throw it in, declaring myself officially barren and binging on spa trips and new clothes.

So, where does that leave us? Well, our western medicine interventions are still on hold. I have been going back to acupuncture weekly and getting sessions, along with cupping for my back pain. My back pain is thankfully more mild than severe and the sessions seem to be helping, and for that I am grateful. I haven’t been back to the naturopathic doctor in a while and feel peace about that decision. I learned a lot from him though and still regularly take my daily vitamins and supplements. (For those who are interested, I take a prenatal vitamin, Vitamin D3 and C, Magnesium Glycinate, Vitex Fruit, Maca Root, Vessel Care, COQ10 and a baby aspirin daily). My cycles since my April surgery haven’t been awesome. I had a 49 day cycle the month of my laparoscopy, which I know can be normal. This last cycle I didn’t ovulate and I induced a period using natural progesterone cream, resulting in a 45 day cycle. We are adding in herbs this cycle, mixing in 5 teaspoons of this unique mixture into hot water and chugging it twice a day and I am hoping that this brings positive change.

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I have been doing castor oil packs on my back and will now start doing abdominal ones leading up to ovulation. I have heard good things about that and have tried it in the past and found it relaxing. I would really like to be more consistent with it though. I aim to improve my health this summer, hoping losing some weight and getting back on track with my low carb/sugar diet. I have no clue what the future holds and just continue to pray that God would make a new path incredibility obvious for us. All in all, I know that this rests in hands much larger than mine. I will be hopping back into the working world soon, covering a maternity leave at the hospital I used to work at and am excited for that change in routine (and am grateful its only 12 weeks). One day at a time right? I will do my best to continue to keep you updated. I have a blog on infertility; I should share my own story more often, right?

Thanks for continuing to coat our journey in your prayers and cares. It means so much to us. As time goes on, I know this trial can start to feel so routine, yet it’s a real hurt on our hearts every day. It never gets easier on our hearts. We learn to cope better, adjusting our perspective or embracing how we are being stretched, but the pain is still raw and real. At the end of the day, we KNOW that God will continue to use this for good and that because of Jesus, there is no worst case scenario for us.

See you Friday for Friday Favorites! :)

friday favorites – june 27.

Happy Friday friends! I am not really sure how these summer days are going by so quickly. I didn’t even get a chance to blog during the week this week. *Gulp* But I have written some great posts in my head in bed around midnight a few nights, so that’s gotta count for something, right? :) Well, without further delay, here are this week’s Friday Favorites!

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Favorite Moment: Seriously, this one will sound silly, because I have A LOT of great moments from this last week, but it’s a simple one. Last night my sis and I headed down to Marketfest, a local little town get together a few cities over, and we sat and watched a high school drum line perform. It seriously was the most adorable thing and I couldn’t stop smiling for so many reasons.

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They were very serious about their performance, and seeing 14-year olds trying to play stoically and stone faced made me giggle. I loved the simple nature of the introductions of each member and Courtney and I joined in loudly cheering for the few kids who clearly had no support in the audience. You could tell it made them feel cool and that was adorable. They were talented! I mean, I am no drum-liner, but it sounded good and their pride in their performance (as well as a few nerves) was literally almost too much for my heart to watch. I live for these adorable moments. I know this all sounds dramatic (welcome to my life), but I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.

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(And because it’s hard to just pick one, another Favorite Moment was an awesome date night I had with Josh early this week. We laughed, enjoyed some freebies and made the most of a Wednesday night. Yay!)

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Boo bad lighting! But he sure is cute! :)

Favorite Song: Anyone remember Alex and Sierra from X-Factor? I loved this duo on the show (an acoustic-y pop Sonny and Cher) and they just released their new single this week, Scarecrow. It’s such a catchy number and I have found myself dancing around singing to it a time or two (or three…) this week. A fun summer tune plus a super cute music video made using puppets.

Favorite Quote or Verse: Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” –John 14:13-14

When I ran across this verse earlier this week, I couldn’t help but think JACKPOT! It’s one of those verses that can suddenly make Jesus seem like a magic genie and turn hopeful expectations into a no-brainer that things will magically and suddenly go my way. I mean, I’m asking, He’s promising, it’s a great arrangement. Right?

Well, I quickly was convicted on this way of thinking and as I kept reading it over and over and over again, I begin to think about why Jesus said this. Jesus was willing to act so that the Father may be glorified. He was willing to do what was asked of Him (in His name) for that one reason. As I kept praying, I realized that to be like Christ, I would have to have the same willingness and intentions as Him in this. My prayer back to God looked something like this: Lord, whatever you ask of me, I will do it, that the Father and the Son may be glorified. If you are asking anything of me, in your name, I will do it. It’s a mighty big prayer to pray but a lesson and a verse that deeply touched my soul and heart this week.

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Favorite Photo(s): I got to spend some fun quality time with Josh and my parent-in-laws on Saturday morning at the golf course and love the shot I got of him hitting off of the first hole into the cool morning fog.

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Yes, the 5:45 am alarm wake-up call was a little early for me, but once we were out on the course, I had a blast watching the family golf, snapping pictures and riding along in the cart with my book. I am not a golfer, but managed to try to hit a ball.

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Unfortunately what this photo doesn’t show is the ball rolling to the left about 5 feet away … well, I tried. :)

AND it was my in-laws 39th anniversary too - how cute are they!?

AND it was my in-laws 39th anniversary that day too – how cute are they!?

Favorite New Local Find: A friend of mine, Kara, told me about a local coffee shop that she thought I would love and of course I just had to go check it out! It’s called J. Arthur’s Coffee in Roseville, MN and it was an adorable place. I met my sweet friend Erica there and while the inside ambiance is amazing (picture rustic tables with individual lamps, big comfy chairs, wide open windows and deep, rich wood colors), we both decided to embrace the warm, sunny day and sit on the patio. The lattes were yummy (chai and vanilla), the conversation full of laughter and sincerity and we managed to chat away for 2 and a half hours while working on our tans. A win-win, right? If you are in the area, check it out!

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(Side note – can I just brag on this young lady? Erica just graduated from high school this year and I am always richly blessed when I get to spend time with an amazing teenager like herself! It’s tough world out there and she is conquering it with grace, integrity and a foundation rooted in the Lord. Adore her!)

Favorite Thing I’m Looking Forward To: Our anniversary! Josh and I are celebrating 9-years together as a married couple next week on the 2nd. I love being married to this man EVERY day, but there is something extra special about anniversaries. Like any marriage, there have been up’s and down’s and it takes time, effort, prayers and mutual investment to make it flourish and I can’t imagine doing that with anyone else. He still makes my heart go pitter-patter and my sides ache from laughing. Love you honey! Happy early anniversary!

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Favorite Funnies: And now, my personal favorites ….

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That’s all for the week! Enjoy your weekend! Do something kind for someone else, offer grace to someone who maybe doesn’t deserve it and force yourself to smile when you least feel like it. XOXO!